Listing your car on Turo: A step by step guide by a [Power Host 2018]

How to list your car on Turo

Your Turo Journey Begins

So, you have thought long and hard. You want to make some money renting out your personal car on Turo.

You’ve come to the right site. Today I will be going over how you list a car on Turo. My name is Jerry and I am a Power Host based in Los Angeles, CA. While I am not the largest fleet owner, in the short time I’ve been on the platform I have expanded my fleet to over 10 cars.

As long as you have the persistence (and some good credit) you will be able to make a full-time income renting out vehicles on various car share platforms.

First Steps: Signing up on Turo

If you’re new to the platform, you will need to sign up using your email, Google+ account, or Facebook profile.

Sign up here using my link!

Once you have signed up, make sure you verify your email. This establishes a recovery method in case you lose your password.

signing up for turo

Filling out your profile page

Now that you have gained access to your profile, go to your profile page. Fill out the info – make sure you do this as a new host to establish credibility. A lot of Turo’s users are still new and are skeptical. Having a completed profile shows renters that you take it seriously.

Include a photo that clearly shows your face. You want a clear photo so renters will recognize you when you are delivering the car. There’s nothing more frustrating than having to loop around the airport again because you passed your guest. In the profile simply fill in the various categories like: Works, Lives, School, and Languages (if you can speak more than one language).

fill your turo profile

For the profile description just try to sell yourself. If you take a look at my profile, I try to give guests a reason to book with me. I usually include a list of the cars in my fleet so renters that land on my page have more options.

Ready to List your car on Turo?

Now that you have filled in your profile page, we can move on to listing your car. Head to the top of the page and click on the “List your Car” button.

You should see this modal pop up:

turo listing modal

Don’t worry. If you don’t have a license plate yet, you can put “Newcar” in the license plate field.

You should now see the “your car” drop down menu. Here you will list the address where you are storing your car. Remember, Turo uses a search algorithm that is influenced by geographic location. Make sure you list your car in a place that is close to people looking for rental cars!

Fill out the Year, Make, Model, Odometer,  transmission, and trim level. If your car is too new it might not be on the list. Turo currently uses Edmunds to pull car information. If your car isn’t on the list use a previous year of the same model and mention it in your profile. Make sure this is all as accurate as possible to ensure your car shows up when renters are searching for vehicles.

car listing details

Turo Car Requirements

To be eligible on Turo, your car must not have a branded title. That means you cannot rent out a salvage or rebuilt vehicle. Your car also cannot have over 130,000 miles. If you choose to ignore these requirements and then get into an accident you will not be covered!

Next up is the Profile photo and mobile number. Since we’ve already filled out our profile page we don’t have to do this step. For the mobile number use a number that you have access to every day. Customers and Turo will contact that number for trip related issues. You want to download the Turo app as well – it will help with response time!

Set your car’s availability

Now we’re ready to fill out the details of our car. In this section you will need to choose the advance notice requirement for guests before they can book your car. Remember to set the notice to allow for you to have flexibility for car turnover. If you have a full-time job, do not select 1 hour. The shorter the notice, the more opportunity you have to secure bookings!

turo availability on car

Tip: I personally go with 3-hour notice on all customer pick up and 6-hour for deliveries. This is to ensure I can plan my day accordingly to avoid cancellations and ensure promptness of service.

Trip length settings

If you’re located in an area that requires long deliveries, make sure you adjust the shortest possible trip to make sense for your business. You don’t want to deliver a car 30 miles for a one-day rental. It’s simply not profitable.

As for setting the longest trip a guest can book, I highly recommend just putting the maximum. Guests who use Turo for long term rentals are usually very profitable – they are using the car as a replacement and are usually just using the car for their commute. This means you have high utilization for their trip and usually come up ahead in terms of miles driven.

Why should guests choose your car?

In this section you want to be as detailed as possible. In a recent blog post, Turo shed a little light on various ranking factors. Having detailed information for your listing is not only helpful for your guest, but will also impact your search result placement.

Note: If you have a temporary license plate, simply put “NewCar” in the License plate number field. Make sure you update this when you receive your registration and license plate.

The next field is the car description. You want to use this space to give customers a reason to book your car over your competitors. Sell yourself and sell the car. Make sure the most relevant features are listed. Take a look at my listing if you want an idea on how to fill this section out.

Don’t miss a single feature. List them ALL

Right below the car description section you will find a checklist of car features. Check every single one that is applicable to your car. Guests can search by options – having the correct features selected will make sure your car appears when they are looking for a rental. More views = more bookings = more money for you!

Adding accurate car photos

This is a last step you have to take before putting your car on Turo’s marketplace. As a host you have access to free professional photography but make sure you use your own pictures while you wait for your photographer to schedule a shoot. Take advantage of this offer before it gets taken away (Airbnb used to offer it but then removed it when too many hosts joined).

Make sure you accurately depict your vehicle. That means take pictures of the interior and exterior to display your car to potential guests. Do not use stock photos! Having comprehensive pictures will allow guests to make an educated decision when booking your car. You want to make sure the expectations of both parties are on the same page.

When you upload the pictures make sure they are at least 640px by 320px. I would recommend taking pictures that are slightly bigger because Turo automatically scales your photos for mobile which may cut off parts of your pictures if you don’t account for that possibility.

Once you’ve uploaded your pictures and published your listing, your car will be active on Turo. Get ready for the bookings to come!

Working on your filling out your listing

Now that your car is listed, you want to make sure you go back to the car details page to optimize your listing. This means going to your title writing it in a way that will convince guests to choose your car. Grab their attention! Write titles that stand out in a list – don’t hesitate to put icons in your title:

catchy titles for turo

Here’s a link to one of my cars, try to fill it out as much as possible.

Pricing your rental car correctly

After you lay the foundation of your listing, you need to sort out the details. The first section we will be optimizing is the pricing section. Do market research and check nearby hosts for comparable cars. As a new host, you’ll want to price aggressively to get the first few reviews. Once you establish yourself as a reliable host, you will be able to increase your price.

price your turo listing correctly

As a default, Turo applies Automatic pricing for your vehicle. I would not recommend using this option at this time – as it gets more advanced you can consider using it to save time but for this moment I recommend manually setting up your prices to maximize your revenue.

Keep in mind that weekdays have less demand than weekends and use a dynamic pricing structure to account for that. Price your cars higher on weekends (some hosts recommend requiring a minimum weekend trip length).

Discounts for longer rentals (Week/Month)

Carefully consider the monthly and weekly discounts. Remember that even though your daily rent will be less if you offer these discounts, you will save a ton of time and costs if a renter takes your car for an extended period of time. From my experience, having the lower daily rate is negated by the fewer turnovers and deliveries I make in the same time period.

Tip: you can also manually adjust individual day pricing in your calendar. This helps fill orphan days (days between long trips) and also gives your listing a search ranking boost.

Setting up your delivery and airports offered

You will need to decide what airports you offer for delivery. If you’re in a smaller town with only one airport this wouldn’t be an issue, but for residents of larger cities you will need to find out which airports are feasible for your business. A great thing about Turo is that you can have different prices for the airports.

Tip: put your vehicle on ALL available airports in your area and set extremely high prices on the ones you would have trouble delivering to. The high delivery fee would result in customers not booking your car, but your vehicle will show up on the search results for those airports. Remember, even if you don’t offer delivery to those airports, the customer may choose to take an Uber to your location!

Geographic distance vs. Driving distance

You can also set up a delivery radius to a guest’s chosen location. Be careful when adjusting this option as the distance selected is based on geographic miles, not driving distance. You may find yourself driving for an hour or more on a 10-mile delivery!

Finding the right delivery discount

The final option under delivery is setting a delivery discount. Here you can set the amount of days a guest needs to book in order to qualify for free delivery. You should fill this out as it will grant you a “Free Delivery” ribbon on your search result. Determine the minimum amount of days a guest must book before you can offer free delivery. Remember, you should generally set a lower minimum trip length for your higher end cars as the high daily rent value will subsidize the loss of the delivery fee.

Note: make sure you are covered when performing deliveries! Although Turo takes 25% of your delivery fee and offers insurance during the delivery, this coverage is NOT comprehensive! You will only have liability coverage during delivery if you don’t have personal coverage on the vehicle.

Car Location and Parking details

You set an address for vehicle pick up when you listed the car but this section allows you to provide more information about the logistics of vehicle hand off. Remember, the location you pick will directly impact your search result placement as geographic distance from searcher has heavy value when they rank listings.

If you want to ensure a smooth guest experience, fill out your instruction for key hand off. Make sure you have multiple options listed here in case you have to adjust. Have a section filled out for in person hand off and remote hand off. Having both options available will help you out tremendously when it comes to avoiding delivery conflicts. Go over your basic steps that the customer will expect to perform.

Tip: Include your phone number in this field. This will ensure your customer can contact you easily (some people struggle with the app). Make sure you inform your customer that they need to bring a value drivers license matching the primary driver on Turo. You don’t want your customer to show up without a license and then not be able to take the car. It’s never pretty.

Can your guests park at your location?

If you allow guests to park their cars near your location, list the specific details of parking. I recommend communicating that parking is at the customer’s risk. You don’t want to be liable should anything happen to their car. You can also use this section to inform them of parking rules in your area (needing permit, where not to park, overnight parking).

Detailed car information section

In this section you have the opportunity to provide your guest with more information about your car. As stated earlier, Turo says the detail in your listing will positively affect your search ranking. Make sure you fill out the basic car details like number of seats and gas required. If your car has any features that’s not listed as an option, be sure to add them under “additional features”. This is your moment to shine. Show guests why your car is the right choice for their rental!

Adding Faqs and Guidelines

FAQs are prominently shown on your listing. Use this area to answer common questions that you receive from your customers. By identifying questions that a lot of customers have, you will save a ton of time avoiding the questions that are easily answered. Examples topics: early pick up, mileage flexibility, and tricky car functions that customers struggle with.

Finally, make sure you list your guidelines for car usage. If you don’t allow pets let your customers know beforehand of the cleaning fee. List the fines and fees for various violations. Make sure you’re very clear in what you do and don’t allow to prevent misunderstandings after the trip. You want to make sure your customer is fully aware of your rules so they don’t leave a retaliatory review after the trip ends.

Adding Extras to increase revenues

Extras are a relatively new feature that Turo has introduced to the platform. Currently you are only able to select from their approved extra list so you will have to wait before renting them a boat. I use extra section to provide convenience for my customers. Offer services like prepaid fuel so your customer can avoid having to refill at the end of their trip (you will find that most of the time they will leave you significant amounts of fuel).

One of the extras that I have had the most success with is the prepaid cleaning. I list the option at a very affordable price so customers will buy it. For my business, as long as the car isn’t filthy or significantly dirtier, I don’t require my customers to wash the car upon return. Knowing that I will be washing the car no matter what the customer does, having this extra will allow customers to comfortably return the car in a used state and I will get additional income for something I was already going to do.

What extras will work well in my market?

Take a look at the list of features and see which ones are applicable for your area. Beach chairs are going to be in high demand in Los Angeles, but they probably wouldn’t be too popular in Iowa. Find out which extras you can offer at a profitable price. Turo has said that hosts that use extras have seen an increase in their monthly revenues.

Setting your Mileage Limits

Mileage is one of the biggest costs as a Turo host. You want to make sure you analyze the financials of each car and determine which mileage cap makes the most sense for your business. Remember, miles are not free – each mile incurs depreciation and wear and tear on your vehicle. If you aren’t careful with this section you may be losing money and not even realize it!

I personally keep my high-end cars at 100 miles per day and my lower end cars at 150-200 miles per day. This allows me to properly plan my financials and allows me to keep being profitable. I wouldn’t recommend offering unlimited miles unless you have a cheaper vehicle. I have found that the customers looking for unlimited miles will usually have a trip planned, which guarantees a high mileage use on the rental.

If you want an idea of the expenses that you may incur, check out my article on Turo profitability.

Mileage reimbursement

If your guest goes over in miles, you can simply charge them for the additional distance. You can set your rate so find a number that will work for you. The Turo app automatically calculates before and after mileages so you can easily request any overages should they occur.

Tip: Consider offering a large number of miles for monthly trips. This will make them feel comfortable booking your car as most drivers won’t be able to accurately estimate the miles they use each month. You will find that most long-term drivers won’t even come close to driving the allotted miles. Caveat: you may find the one renter that’s looking for a cross country road trip.

Selecting the Vehicle Protection Package that suits your needs

The default setting for the protection package will be Turo Standard. This plan costs 25% of each trip and provides $1MM liability insurance as well as a $0 deductible should a covered incident occurred.

Standard insurance package for new hosts

I have found that this option suits most hosts’ needs the best. Since Turo performs driver checks and has access to driver payment sources most hosts would have trouble collecting should any damages occur if they didn’t have this plan. For beginner hosts the Turo Standard plan is an acceptable cost of doing business. You’re protected and don’t risk having large unexpected expenses. You can focus on doing what you set out to do: renting your car out.

Tip: Be extremely thorough when taking photos of the pre-trip and post-trip state of the car. I recommend using a phone to take a video around the car as well. Turo uses the meta data of your photos and videos to determine eligibility for coverage. I have personally lost a claim due to inadequate photos. Again, take as many photos as you can!

Considering the other packages

Once you have gotten the hang of Turo you can consider the other protection packages. The basic package increases your split of the trip price by 10%. Declining coverage requires you to have your own commercial insurance and would require you to collect any damages directly from the customer. These options will be gone over thoroughly in a future article.

Setting up trip preferences

After the details of your listing have been filled out, you can use this section to adjust your trip preferences. This is useful if you’re unable to offer instant booking for deliveries but are still willing to offer it at the car’s location.

Good luck on your Turo journey

That about wraps up the basics in terms of listing a car on Turo. Now you have gotten past the easy part – the hard part is daily operation and dealing with the customers you will meet. Some will be awesome and others….not so much. If you’re persistent and dedicated to the business I’m sure you’ll see success. I hope you have enjoyed my article on Turo! Don’t hesitate to leave a comment or send me an email, I promise I will respond within 24 hours.

If you want tips on expanding your fleet, check out this other article.

Looking for a comprehensive guide on Turo? Jerry’s Turo Course

 

 

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2 Comments

  1. Hi,

    Thank you for a very interesting read. I’m just getting started out on Turo and have a few cars to rent out – however, I’m wondering what you do in terms on insurance? I have had my current provider cancel my insurance for every day use between trips (I’m covered on trips by Turos’ policy with Liberty Mutual) but do you have a recommendation for a company to use outside of this for day to day insurance?

    • Hi Chris,

      Thank you for your comment. If you’re looking to get commercial fleet insurance to supplement coverage during non-trip hours, you will generally need to register an LLC.

      You need to inquire with local insurance providers to see which ones will allow car sharing. I know Geico sometimes allows it as long as you indicate that there will be commercial activity on the cars. Good luck!

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